Poem: Nature Abhors a Vacuum

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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

This is the view from where I sit.

Just to the right of me is the work table,
covered in brushes and paint
and half-finished paintings.
There are things that need to be framed,
and a plethora of pens.

There is no glamour to it.
A working space with good light
and more importantly, time,
set apart, for just this thing,
to get the rest of the world out of my way
and make room for the stuff that comes slowly,

the inspiration, the god-breath
that pulls things out of me no one knew
were there, much less me.

Some artist, me.
I spend far more time staring into space
than applying paint. Thinking you might call it
if you were generous and kind.
It is far less than that,
I am waiting with expectation,
trusting the universe will not leave me empty
for too long.

About this poem

During this time of Coronavirus, I spend a chunk of each day in my art studio in nearby Granville, NY.  I don’t paint the whole time. No. I do my morning devotions here, write a time, talk to clients on Zoom and Skype, and then later, paint.

I am a “manna” kind of artist. I rarely have something in mind when I start. Instead, I empty myself, (I do this with poetry as well.), and then wait for the emotions to leak out. In general, the better I do at emptying myself, the better the art.

Inspiration, the word, originates from a phrase that means “God-Breathed”. The ancients used to believe that God filled artists with their art, whatever form it came in. And perhaps he does. But with me, he has to work with an empty canvas, because the only way I can create honestly, is to be empty, and wait for what leaks out.  Because, as we all learned in high school physics, Nature abhors a vacuum,

The picture was taken this morning. It is the worktable just to the right of the table where I write.

Be well.

Tom

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